Deep-pocketed environmental groups have spent more than $3.3 million in the last week to support Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s election bid and attack Republican opponent Donald Trump.
NextGen Climate Action spent more than $1.4 million since Sept. 8 attacking Trump’s candidacy, mainly through a sizable digital advertising campaign, according to independent expenditure data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP).
NextGen was founded and is almost exclusively funded by liberal billionaire Tom Steyer, who made his name spending tens of millions of dollars trying to make global warming a top-tier issue in elections. So far, NextGen has spent nearly $2.2 million this election cycle attacking Trump.
Steyer was the single biggest donor during the 2014 election, spending more than $73 million that cycle. Steyer spent more than $20 million that election through NextGen, and is likely poised to spend millions more this election attacking Trump or supporting Clinton.
“They’ve always been so capable of building influence around the country through money. Regardless of what I do, or what Democrats do, we’re gonna get outspent by a lot. That’s just a fact,” Steyer said.
The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) spent more than $1.9 million since Sunday in support of Clinton, with most of the funds going towards a field canvassing, according to CRP.
LCV announced a $4.2 million “persuasion canvass” in swing states to convince voters to support Clinton. LCV and other environmentalists have lined up to oppose Trump for his support for the coal industry and remarks about cutting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“Trump completely lacks the judgement, temperament and knowledge to be President,” Clay Schroers, LCV’s campaigns director, said in a statement. “His stubborn climate denialism, threats to cut the EPA and indifferent ignorance on energy policy show how far outside the mainstream he is.”
Large environmental groups lined up behind the Clinton campaign this election, while the smaller, more radical groups supported Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary.
Steyer and LCV, however, threw their weight behind Clinton, and Steyer held a fundraiser for Clinton at his San Francisco home in April.
Clinton also endorsed Steyer’s call for forcing the U.S. to get 50 percent of its energy by 2030 from green energy sources, like wind turbine and solar panels.
Conservatives have been critical of Democrats for taking Steyer’s money and then coming out with a 2016 platform that basically mirrored the billionaire’s energy plan.
The Energy & Environment Legal Institute (EELI) released a scathing report on Steyer’s influence on the Democratic Party’s political positions. EELI even accused Steyer of using his political influence to increase his personal wealth.
“He is heavily invested in renewable energy, particularly solar,” EELI reported. “With hundreds of millions at stake in solar companies such as Kilowatt Financial, Sungevity, and BrightPath Capital Partners, Steyer’s motives are transparent.”
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